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Last week I wrote about the full launch of Google’s Social Search facility and the positives and negatives of ‘results from your social circle’. Not long after publishing that post I was contacted directly by a few of you voicing concerns about just how far Google intends on going in terms of violating a persons right to online privacy. This got me thinking, and it is only really when you take time out to think about Google that you realise they know a hell of a lot about us. Perhaps our online privacy has been completely lost, but in all honesty it’s a little too late for us to bolt the stable door.

On one hand we love the Internet for its freedom, and whether the latest leaked document on U.S. operations by Wikileaks or the exposure of a celebrity involved in a nude act, the fact is Read more


Google Cache Text
When you first visit a professional SEO consultant they will begin by analysing your website and getting a feel for just how search engine friendly the pages are. Many experts will spot problem areas at a glance, but some things take a deeper analysis to diagnose. One simple check that all specialists carry out is a diagnostic page analysis to see how Google views your home page and other pages of your site. Successful website marketing relies on how Google interprets your website and in turn this directly affects your rankings. This is a test that you can carry out yourself by taking a look into Google’s ‘text cache’. Read more

Google Farmer UpdateA while ago I told you the Google Farmer change was coming, but just how big an impact it was going to have I couldn’t have told you back then. Well, since this baby has been in operation for a good couple of weeks now, I can tell you a lot more about how it is affecting search and ecommerce in general.

Massive Changes In Search Results

We knew this massive change to Google’s ranking algorithm would improve query results and wean out websites who reuse content and try to beat the system, what we couldn’t of known is that this change would affect 11.8% of Google queries in the United States.

Google makes about 500 changes to its algorithm per year, some miniscule and others with greater importance, but most with the aim of Read more

Content SpamIf you run an information resource website or even house a blog, the likelihood is that you will have be ‘scrapped’ at one time or another. Scrapping is an increasingly popular practice carried out by content farms and low quality sites intent on stealing good content rather than writing it themselves. This practice saves time and boosts rankings, helping to generate advertising revenue, make affiliate sales and build a popular piece of web real estate. One major issue with scrapping and copying is that these sites can get ahead of you pages in the SERPs even though you wrote the content to begin with. It’s totally unethical and really has a negative affect on honest web business owners. Read more

By the end of this month the Google social search mechanism will be completely rolled out. For those of you that don’t know what this is, let me give you the heads up. It has actually been in test phase for quite some time – the last quarter of 2009 I believe.  Now, by social search I don’t mean real time results  from random people on Twitter, I mean social search as in connecting you to content created by people in your social circle.

What is Your Social Circle?

Your social circle is people you are connected to through Googlemail, Twitter, people you follow in Google reader, Flickr and other social mediums. Google will now display blog posts, profiles, images and other content from members of your social circle when you conduct a search. Be aware though that you may be shown friends of your Twitter friends or slightly random people you wouldn’t expect to pop up – but this is intentional and will also be related to you in some way. The idea is to broaden your social circle and discover other people with stuff to share that you will genuinely be interested in.

To give you an example of how it works; if you were my friend and connected via twitter, gmail, etc. and you typed in ‘Search Engine Optimisation’, you might see the following:

Google Social Results

Why Are Google Introducing Social Search?

Well, believe or not we like to follow each other, I don’t mean on Facebook I mean in reading, buying and browsing trends. For example, if I was buying a new mp3 player I would more than likely want to know what the people in my social circle thought about mp3 players and what brand of player people had been purchasing. One of my social circle may have written a “best mp3 players” blog post, and another may have recently purchased and reviewed an mp3 player on Amazon. This would surely help me to buy with more confidence, and with affiliate marketing and fake reviews making it all but impossible to source honest information, this is great news in terms of reliability.  In a roundabout way Google social search is putting control back in the hands of the browser, allowing us to trust content again and operate within search boundaries. Or is it? I mean you can hardly trust friends of friends on Twitter or someone you liked on Flikr. I guess what this really means is, we now need to be extra careful who we ‘socially’ connect with.

It might seem a bit strange at first, an SEO expert of a major corporation hiring in an independent SEO consultant, but I often get calls from SEO experts who want me to work alongside them in a project. There are a number of reasons why this practice makes perfect sense.

Specialised Expertise

Every SEO expert and indeed professional SEO service has their particular areas of expertise, and over the last few years many specialised areas have opened up within the industry. An in-house SEO expert may need specialised expertise in areas such as social media promotion, local SEO, mobile SEO, copy-writing for SEO, link-building, and so on. Read more

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